Cicero, Pro Lege Manilia

LCL 198: 46-47

Go To Section
Go To Section
Tools

Cicero

esse sublatos? Nam quid ego Ostiense incommodum atque illam labem atque ignominiam rei publicae querar, cum prope inspectantibus vobis classis ea, cui consul populi Romani praepositus esset, a praedonibus capta atque oppressa est? Pro di immortales! tantamne unius hominis incredibilis ac divina virtus tam brevi tempore lucem adferre rei publicae potuit, ut vos, qui modo ante ostium Tiberinum classem hostium videbatis, nunc nullam intra Oceani ostium praedonum navem esse audiatis? 34Atque haec qua celeritate gesta sint, quamquam videtis, tamen a me in dicendo praetereunda non sunt. Quis enim umquam aut obeundi negotii aut consequendi quaestus studio tam brevi tempore tot loca adire, tantos cursus conficere potuit, quam celeriter Cn. Pompeio duce tanti belli impetus navigavit? qui nondum tempestivo ad navigandum mari Siciliam adiit, Africam exploravit, in Sardiniam cum classe venit atque haec tria frumentaria subsidia rei publicae firmissimis praesidiis classibusque munivit. 35Inde cum se in Italiam recepisset, duabus Hispaniis et Gallia Transalpina praesidiis ac navibus confirmata, missis item in oram Illyrici maris et in Achaiam omnemque Graeciam navibus Italiae duo maria maximis classibus firmissimisque praesidiis adornavit, ipse autem ut Brundisio profectus est, undequinquagesimo die totam ad imperium populi Romani Ciliciam adiunxit; omnes, qui ubique praedones fuerunt, partim capti interfectique sunt, partim unius huius se impevio ac potestati dediderunt. Idem

46

On The Manilian Law

kidnapped by the pirates? Why should I lament the reverse at Ostium, that shameful blot upon our commonwealth, when almost before your own eyes the very fleet which had been entrusted to the command of a Roman consul was captured and destroyed by the pirates? Great Heavens! Is it possible that the incredible, the superhuman genius of a single man has in so short a time illumined the darkness which beset his country, that you, who but lately saw with your eyes a hostile fleet before the Port of Tiber, now hear the news that there is not a pirate ship within the Portal of Ocean? The34 rapidity with which this feat was accomplished you all know, but I cannot omit to mention it in my speech. For who, however eager for the transaction of business or the pursuit of gain, has ever succeeded in visiting so many places in so short a time or in accomplishing such long journeys at the same speed with which, under the leadership of Pompeius, that mighty armament swept over the seas? Pompeius, though the sea was still unfit for navigation, visited Sicily, explored Africa, sailed to Sardinia and, by means of strong garrisons and fleets, made secure those three sources of our country’s corn supply. After that he returned to Italy, secured the two35 provinces of Spain together with Transalpine Gaul, dispatched ships to the coast of the Illyrian Sea, to Achaea and the whole of Greece, and so provided the two seas of Italy with mighty fleets and strong garrisons; while he himself, within forty-nine days of starting from Brundisium, added all Cilicia to the Roman Empire. All the pirates, wherever they were, were either captured and put to death or they surrendered to his power and authority and to his

47
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.marcus_tullius_cicero-pro_lege_manilia.1927